Getting ready for Tryon Resort

Published 12:05pm Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Of course I’d heard the rumors. I’m sure we all have. Something big is coming to the Tryon area. It’s actually already started. I’d heard phrases like equestrian center, world-class resort and the more crass term, horse money, bandied about, but it wasn’t until I saw the YouTube promotional video for the Tryon Resort on a friend’s Facebook page that my jaw dropped.
Was it the scope of the video? The stunning artist’s renderings showing 1400 acres of “vast recreational splendor” on its way here? Amenities like a nature inspired spa, 1000 permanent horse stalls and climate controlled shade pavilions? That the filmmaker could do cool screen wipes with a horse silhouette? Not exactly.
When the video mentioned the area is home to “art festivals,” the camera panned down a tableau of art pieces from a Tryon Arts and Crafts exhibit and there it was. My mouth fell open. My ceramic bowls were in the shot.
My Facebook friend declared that it was my bowls that sealed the deal for our future neighbors when they were selecting the area for their state of the art resort.
I should also mention that I’d actually given those particular bowls to my Facebook friend for his birthday, so technically, they are now his famous bowls featured in a very fancy video.
When I first moved to Tryon in 2011, I was determined to try my hand at pottery – something I’d never been able to find the time for when I lived in L.A.
That first fall here, I went to the Tryon Arts and Crafts Fall Festival and stood in front of instructor Jim Cullen as he demonstrated throwing pots on a potter’s wheel, and I promised myself I was going to do that.
I had no idea I’d landed in a town that could boast one of the finest arts and crafts schools in the area. As luck would have it, I’d found the perfect little town for people who are interested in the arts, just as I was.
Naturally, I started right away in one of Jim’s beginning wheel classes, and I’m happy to say I’ve kept up my favorite new hobby since then, taking other classes and spending many an afternoon losing time in the pottery studio.
If you haven’t tried it, you absolutely should. Or check out some of the other classes they offer in jewelry design, woodworking, glass, weaving, fiber arts, blacksmithing and lapidary.
It’s right here in our own back yard, and classes are reasonably priced as well, especially if you’re a member, and you should be.
I was surprised the day Erin Thompson of Thompson Garden Gallery said she’d love to represent my pottery when I was ready to sell it. I said, “But you’ve never even seen it.”
She replied, “It’s a very small town, Susan. I know exactly what it looks like.”
So I started selling my pottery at Thompson’s and would occasionally sell a piece at one of the TAC shows. (That’s what those of us in the know call Tryon Arts and Crafts.) And of course, my bowls make great birthday gifts for my friends.
I told another Tryon friend about the exciting guest appearance of my bowls in the Tryon Resort video and he said, “Get ready.”
I wasn’t sure what he meant exactly, but after some further discussion, he made a great point.
New people are coming. People who already love our beautiful “bucolic landscape” and who want to share it and enjoy it with us. People who build luxurious hotels and signature design golf courses and who want to make sure our little corner of the world is a “dream destination.”
They’re bringing their love of mountain scenery, quaint small towns, equestrian events and yes, even handmade ceramic bowls.
We’re in a unique position to welcome these new people and their love for all things Tryon. If we’re smart we’ll get down to TAC and start slapping glaze on our best efforts, stocking them in Thompson’s for all to see.
Maybe pottery isn’t your thing, but you should consider your equivalent to pretty hand thrown bowls and get ready. They’re coming.
New friends, new Tryon lovers, new customers. It’s going to be big and it’s going to be good. They don‘t climate control shade pavilions for just anybody. We’re getting some very special neighbors.

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